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How to be an Au Pair on a budget

by Jingxuan on Jun 05, 2024Reading time: 3 min.
How to be an Au Pair on a budget
Would you like to be an Au Pair but have a limited budget? Maybe you have just graduated and have a little savings; you’re in the middle of university and want to travel abroad, but you don’t want to ask your parents for the money. Or maybe you just want to experience life in a different environment.
However, there might be several expenses before starting your journey. The visa fee, the travel expenses,  and even the agency costs fee, if you choose one. All of these will be hard for you to handle at this time of your life. So, how should you be an Au Pair on a budget? Read on to learn more about it.

1. Be an Au Pair in a country close to you

If you want to save some money on travel expenses or visa fees, it will be a good choice considering being an Au Pair in a neighboring country. First, with a shorter distance, your travel costs to reach the host country  will be cheaper. Transportation costs usually make up the majority of Au Pair expenses, so you will save a lot of money on this. 
In addition, some families may be willing to help you cover these costs. While it is unlikely that families will pay for your airfare in advance, and we discourage families from doing so, some families may be willing to reimburse you during the first few months of your stay with them. 
Remember to discuss this point in a video call and add it to your Au Pair contract. It is important that both you and your Host Family sign the contract before the beginning of your stay. This will help you avoid misunderstandings, and build up trust in your relationship. Click here to learn more about how to make a great video call with your Host Family. 

2. Choose a country whose bureaucracy is simple and fast

Additionally, generally speaking, neighboring countries either do not require visas or have simpler visa application processes. Therefore, you will spend little or no money on the visa. You can first look into the visa requirements for Au Pairs in nearby countries. For example, Au Pairs in the European Union can enter any EU country without a visa, and won’t need to spend any money on bureaucracy.
There are other benefits of being an Au Pair in a close country. Your language will be similar or even the same, you will overcome the language barrier more easily. If you feel homesick, it’ll be easy to come home. But for some people, it is their wish to live in a very different and exotic country. So if you want to go to a country that’s far away, read on to learn about where else you can save money.

3. Make preparations 

Before you go to live in another country for a long time, you need to prepare some things for it, such as clothes and household items. However, if you want to keep your budget, you need to spend as little money on them as possible. Some things your Host Family will provide for you, and some things they won’t. It will be easier to save money on them, if you make some preparation before you leave, and pack all the necessary items:
  • Bring your winter coat, it’ll be expensive to buy a new one.
  • Prepare shoes for different situations and avoid shopping in the host country.
  • If you're nearsighted, get an extra pair of glasses. To buy new glasses in the host country you may need to have a new eye exam, pay the bill for it, and for brand new glasses.
  • Go to see the dentist. As for the previous point, make sure to avoid unnecessary doctor treatment abroad - your health insurance might not cover all of them!
  • Bring all the necessary cables for your devices. You may need to purchase an adapter. Ask your Host Family if they have one that you can use.
Finally, if there’s something that’s cheap in your country but expensive in the country you’re going to, bring it. It will not only help you stay in your budget, but it will also be a sweet reminder when you miss home.

4. Find your Host Family on

After reading our tips, you already know a bit about how to be an Au Pair on a budget. However, there is one way that we recommend to help you save your budget right from the start of your stay: find your Host Family on
First, is free for candidates. You can start your first step without spending any money, by just clicking register. With our searching system, you can find your matching Host Family quickly, and send them free messages. Premium families can send you personalized messages and you can communicate with them for free. Therefore, the selection process is 100% free. provides many free resources. Planning your stay is super easy with the knowledge you can gain from our wiki articles and the advice we give on our blog.
After you find your suitable Host Family, you can start to do video calls with them to make sure it is the right match, and sign the contract. This is the best way to save your budget. 
If you want to delegate the selection process and need help with the organization of your stay, you can pay for the services of a full-service agency. Click here to find an agency on
Now, don’t be afraid. Becoming an Au Pair isn’t as expensive as you think, right? Even with a limited budget, you can become an Au Pair. So don’t wait up, start your searching now! Your new life journey is waiting for you.
Click here to read our tips on how to live on a budget as an Au Pair, and here to learn how to travel on a budget. 
Qingming Festivalby Jingxuan Zhang on 27 Mar, 2024Read More »
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